Giants takeaways from 22-7 loss to Football Team in final game of regular season

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Jake Fromm in blue and white jersey making throw, close-up
Jake Fromm in blue and white jersey making throw, close-up

Well, at least it’s over.

In a season filled with pitiful offensive performances, the Giants gave yet another one on Sunday in their 22-7 loss to the Washington Football Team. They had just 177 total yards, which remarkably wasn’t their worst performance of the season. Their quarterback, Jake Fromm, threw for just 103 yards.

It’s not surprising. It’s about all anyone could have expected. And it was a fitting end to one of their ugliest, most pathetic seasons they’ve ever had.

It’s almost unbelievable how bad this offense has been, especially over the past six weeks. Despite all the injuries and the fact that the Giants are down to their third-string quarterback, they are still putting NFL players on the field – at least theoretically. But for most of the past six weeks they haven’t been able to generate any offense at all.

Not that it was good back when Daniel Jones was healthy, but since then they’ve become unimaginably worse.

Fromm, making his second start, wasn’t much better than he was in his first, completing 15-of-31 passes for 103 yards with a touchdown and two interceptions. Saquon Barkley, putting the exclamation point on his terrible season, rushed for just 30 yards on 11 carries. Kenny Golladay, their $72 million receiver, had three catches for 22 yards and finished without a single touchdown pass all year long.

It was awful. It was also what the few fans who bothered to show up at the Meadowlands should have been expecting.

And it’s why there are changes coming to the Giants organization – possibly some very extensive changes, and possibly starting very soon.

While you’re waiting for that, here are a few more takeaways and final thoughts on the Giants’ finale. You’ll probably notice a very familiar theme:

- The Giants’ offensive line is a trainwreck and that’s really going to be a problem next season. Left tackle Andrew Thomas looks like the only keeper, which means the Giants should be on the lookout for four new potential starters. But with very little salary cap room and so many other needs, just where are they going to find them? They may have no choice but to give another shot to guard Shane Lemieux and center/guard Nick Gates, assuming they’re both healthy. But with guard Will Hernandez and tackle Nate Solder heading towards free agency, they’ll at least have to bring in a whole new right side, maybe through the draft.

- No one is giving up on Barkley, and the fact that he struggled through his first season back from a torn ACL probably shouldn’t be a surprise. But this season was still terribly disappointing. He finished with 593 yards on 162 carries, and he had 38 catches for 244 yards – none of which came in this game. He’s got a lot to prove next year as he plays out his contract. It’s fair to wonder if he’ll ever be back to what he was.

- The Giants were basically bidding against themselves when they signed Golladay to a four-year, $72 million contract and now it’s easy to see why. He finished the season with 37 catches for 521 yards in 14 games. The fact that he didn’t have a touchdown catch is an embarrassment that hangs on both him and the coaches too, who should’ve used him more when the Giants were in the red zone. And this one will stick with him this offseason: A deep pass by Fromm in the third quarter that went just beyond Golladay’s arms. It was definitely thrown a little too far, but his effort to reach for it seemed half-hearted.

- It wasn’t much, but give Fromm credit: He was better than he was in his first start. He even led the Giants on a touchdown drive in the fourth quarter. And let’s face it: Touchdown drives are pretty rare with this team. The fact that it came right after he threw a pick-six shows he’s resilient. Look, he was put in a bad spot this season. He was brought in late and basically thrown right into action before he could have any chance to really learn the playbook with a terrible team around him. It’s hard to judge him on that. Though, that fourth-quarter fumble where he lost the ball as he tried to throw it was a pretty bad look.

- If Joe Judge returns – an increasingly big if -- he’s expected to get orders from ownership to shake up his entire offensive staff. And good, because bringing back interim play-caller Freddie Kitchens as the offensive coordinator would be a mistake. Granted, he’s hampered with some terrible personnel and lots of injuries, but too many of his plays just look poorly designed. On one play he had Barkley take a direct, Wildcat snap and hand off to Devontae Booker. Huh? No one was fooled and they gained nothing. Then, on a 4th-and-1 play he called a jet sweep to WR Alex Bachmann. Fine, but nobody was there to block the outside for Bachmann, who was hit in the backfield almost as soon as he got the ball.

- A series in the second quarter said everything that needed to be said about the coaching staff’s complete lack of faith in their players. Backed up inside their own 5, after a failed first-down pass the Giants ran back-to-back quarterback sneaks. That was the coaching staff giving up. They had no interest in moving the ball because they didn’t think the offense was capable of moving the ball. They just wanted to avoid a disastrous penalty or turnover. Yeah, that’s coaching scared, but let’s face it: Their reasoning was pretty sound.

- Hernandez had played every snap this season and was the only player on offense to start every game, for better or worse. But of course he couldn’t emerge from the season unscathed. He aggravated an ankle injury in the first quarter, had to be helped off the field, and did not return. That’s a perfect bookend to the season. No one on offense survived the injury plague.